Four days had passed since I founded my religion.
Simply declaring I founded a religion and doing nothing else was meaningless. The [Divine Revelation] surely had a wondrous effect, but that alone wasn’t enough.
And so, for the past four days, the Dwarf Smiths had been building a church. Even though it would formally be known as a church, I also intended to use it as an assembly hall for large-scale events.
By the way, it hasn’t been said enough because I had Rorono, but the Dwarf Smiths were truly fantastic.
As B rank monsters, they were already rare enough that most Demon Lords wouldn’t be able to make them without expending original medals.
To top it off, their craftsmanship was one of the finest among all monsters. Using the golems as heavy machinery, they could do construction work faster than a group of humans could ever hope.
All that being said, to kickstart my new religion, I had enlisted the help of not only my monsters but the humans as well.
“Procell-sama, I’ve finished that thing you asked. Oh boy, it was hard. I dare say no one else but us, the Curtrude Company, would have been able to finish this task in time. Anyway, as you requested, our workers, after working day and night, have produced 500 copies of your second draft.”
“You have my thanks, Conanna.”
I had asked the Curtrude Company for its cooperation in this endeavor.
Considering that it was the leading trading company in Avalon and that its leader, Conanna, has answered each expectation I had for him, I was confident in asking them for help.
“I must confess I was surprised when you said you wanted to make so many high-quality books and then distribute them for free. But then again, it is you, Procell-sama.”
“These texts are vital, after all. Word of mouth just isn’t enough for this.”
What I requested of the Curtrude Company was the production of holy books for my religion.
The main teaching of my religion could be summed up to humans and demi-humans getting along, but having only that much was just too lacking. For that reason, I commissioned the help of a poet to pad things out… err, rather, to rewrite my initial draft to appeal more to the people.
And now, we had produced a large number of copies of that book consisting of 20 or so pages.
The plan was to distribute these books for free to potential believers.
Seeing as paper was expensive, it was only natural to assume that books would be even more so.
Even so, I had decided to distribute the holy books for free in order to ensure, even if by only a little bit more, that my doctrine would be spread and that it would be spread correctly.
A little bit of investment for such a cause was not an issue, especially considering our gold reserves.
“Yeah, it’s a good book.”
I said so while holding a copy of the holy book.
The leather it had for cover had a slight luster to it. It also looked sturdy and its overall craftsmanship was great.
Furthermore, they had only begun on the production of the book three days ago when the manuscript for it had just been finished. Even if the Curtrude Company commissioned multiple workshops, to be able to produce 500 copies in such a short time was a tremendous accomplishment.
“The ample budget surely helped. Early tomorrow morning, all of the 500 copies should be delivered.”
Thank goodness. They made it just in time.
It was scheduled that we were to hold the very first worshipping event tomorrow. We might not have enough for every individual that would attend, but we might just have enough for each family.
“If you can keep up this quality, I would like to order a thousand more copies. Don’t worry, I won’t say something like deliver them right away and all at once. Just deliver what you’ve finished once a week. I’ll pay in advance; the cost doesn’t matter. Also, I’ll provide a bonus for your workers.”
Hard work needed to be compensated fairly.
That was my policy.
“Much appreciated, but I don’t really mind being paid later.”
“Wouldn’t an advance payment be more helpful?”
“Fufu. It certainly would be helpful, but I’d rather receive it after I’ve formally entered the religion you’re going to found.”
“I guess I shouldn’t be surprised you’ve heard about it.”
I planned on offering anyone who would become a believer of my religion tax incentives.
Furthermore, I also planned on giving people who worked in agriculture priority on the usage of our water systems. Free fertilizers and other stuff too.
I had reservations on this blatant baiting, but it was necessary.
I knew I wouldn’t gain many true believers this way, but I had a plan to turn anyone enticed by these methods into one later.
“Alright. From tomorrow onwards, my religion is going to accept believers. Let us do our dealings after that.”
“Are you sure though? Worshipping me would pretty much mean that you and your Curtrude Company would be severing its ties to the Rigdolg Faith.”
The Rigdolg Faith was the world’s largest religion wherein the [Black] Demon Lord reigned as its god.
In all likelihood, its believers wouldn’t accept anyone believing in faiths other than their own.
Upon hearing me, Conanna smiled.
“Oh, I’m sure. Even from before, I have greatly respected you, Procell-sama. Moreover, your teachings align with what we merchants have believed. Whether they be human or demi-human, so long as they can give us profits, they are welcome. Your teachings suit us much better than that human supremacy ideology of the Rigdolg Faith.”
As to be expected of a first-rate merchant, he had already carefully thought it through. As calculated as it was though, this decision was still a gamble.
On the other hand, as Avalon’s commerce grows, so too would his profits.
“I’m so glad you came to Avalon. Conanna, as thanks for your decision to stay, I hereby approve your proposal of establishing an orphanage. I shall see to it that it is built quickly too. I was surprised though. You’ve always struck me as a merchant who thought of nothing else but profit, and yet here you are doing something selfless.”
Conanna surprisingly was a very considerate person.
A day after I announced I was going to found my religion, he proposed to establish an orphanage in the church.
There were many adventurers here in Avalon. They made a living by going into the [Time] Demon Lord’s dungeon which was very nearby. Unfortunately, risks of death came hand in hand with their occupation.
When such things happen, it wasn’t an uncommon story for them to leave behind some family members.
The existence of orphans had always been a concern.
In order for them to survive, they would resort to rummaging the garbage and even pickpocketing. This in turn caused public order to deteriorate. Capturing these orphans, on the other hand, wasn’t really a solution.
Adventurer associations did exist, but they didn’t offer much help to the matter.
And so, in order to protect public order while also luring more adventurers to Avalon, establishing an orphanage seemed like a good move.
Should these orphans grow properly and make a family of their own, it would greatly benefit Avalon in the long run.
“You give me too much credit. This too is just a business venture. If those children are given proper education and grow into adults that have honest jobs, they would become valued customers for my company. This is just me shoving the responsibility to Avalon.”
So the person himself said, but I knew better.
I had found out was that he has been employing as much orphaned children as possible into his company, and has been treating them fairly.
There were also other good deeds he has been doing behind the scenes. It was enough to make me wonder if he had been orphaned and enslaved when he was a child.
I guess a person just isn’t what they seem to appear on the surface.
“I’d also like to ask you to take care of the interior design of the church. Please have it ready by tomorrow.”
“Yes, arrangements for that has already been taken care of. Nothing but the highest quality furnishings that would help produce an atmosphere of holiness. My Curtrude Company has gathered the greatest craftsmen to produce this event, so please look forward to it.”
Even though the Dwarf Smiths might be able to make even better things, they were outmatched when it came to theming and such things.
Like this, it would serve as a valuable group activity between my monsters and the humans.
After talking about two or three other points, Conanna and I parted.
There were other important things to prepare, after all.
I then returned to the carriage placed near the First Tree.
In the kitchen, Aura was busy making some kind of dubious medicine while humming.
Meanwhile, in a large room within the carriage, Ruru listened and then criticized the Ocean Singers on their song over and over again. The citizens of Avalon weren’t supposed to hear their song yet, so they practiced it here.
“No, that won’t do, you have to put more emotion into it. There’s not enough love, love I say! You have to make them love everyone and cherish peace and harmony. Here, listen to me and the feelings I put in.”
Ruru then gave a sample.
Just listening to her song was enough to make one kinder.
“Okay, now, from the third verse! We only have until tomorrow! Everyone, do your best!”
With that, the Ocean Singers began singing again.
Although Ruru still had a few criticisms to make, the Ocean Singers were definitely singing better than earlier.
While waiting for the Ocean Singers to finish singing, I approached Ruru and talked to her.
“Ruru, is everything going well?”
“Yup. At this pace, we’ll be ready for tomorrow. I’ve made an excellent hymn for you, patron. I and the Ocean Singers are staking our titles as otherworld singers in this performance.”
I figured that a memorable song was far more effective than a thousand words. Considering Ruru and the Ocean Singers could influence their audiences’ hearts, the effects should be even more tremendous.
And so, I asked Ruru to come up with both rhythm and lyrics. The subject was to be about demi-humans and humans being just the same; about how everyone should live peacefully and happily together; and about how I was a great and benevolent god, so I should be worshipped.
The song was also supposed to be easy to sing and its melody easy to remember.
The plan was to lure the people to come to a worship meeting by offering tax cuts and advantage in agriculture, and have those people listen to the song. Even though the baits wouldn’t make them faithful believers, I had confidence the song would.
They would then enthusiastically invite others who would then invite another set of people to come. Like this, the amount of my believers was going to increase at a steady pace.
This method very closely resembled brainwashing, but unlike the latter, this wasn’t malicious in any way. We were just going to be instilling some values; we wouldn’t be doing any harm.
At any rate, the very first worship meeting was scheduled for the next day. After that, it was going to become a weekly event. Hopefully, each week would bring in more believers while the current would be even more religious.
“Patron, are you sure about the sound equipment? It isn’t designed by Rorono, so I have some concerns.”
“Though the Dwarf Smiths were the ones that designed it, Rorono did properly check it. It should be fine. You’re going to have the world’s greatest stage.”
“I’m relieved, then. Actually, in that case, I guess we should improve our performance!”
Like that, Ruru and the Ocean Singers began their practice once again.
Having checked up on them and being assured, I then headed toward Aura.
“Is everything going well here as well?”
“Yes, I’ve actually just made a trial product. Have a look. I call this special potion [God’s Smile]! Any human that drinks a cup of wine from a barrel that has even only a single drop of this would be put in a state of intoxication and be unable to think fully. In such a state, they would obediently accept all sorts of things.”
Aura then smiled wickedly.
Despite being an elf, why does such an expression suit her so much?
“I’m glad to hear the holy water’s ready.”
The tax cuts and agricultural advantages weren’t the only things we were using to lure in potential believers. One other such thing that we were advertising was that anyone who would come to the worship meetings would get to drink our high-quality wine—which would be called our holy water—for free.
Of course, this wine would be mixed with [God’s Smile].
If people were to listen to Ruru’s hymn while under the influence of the holy water, the effects would sky-rocket.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that through those two things, the citizens of Avalon would unite as one.
I’m so excited for tomorrow.
The first ever day of worship for my religion finally came.
The registration for those who wished to be a part of it had begun at the many registration desks we had set up in front of the church.
After writing down their name or—for those that didn’t know how to write—having it written down for them, the now-registered believers were handed proof of their faith in the form of a necklace and an expensive-if-sold holy book. The Mythological Foxes then guided them to the church.
As the believers poured into the church, I felt glad I made the hall as large as possible. If I hadn’t, it would have been full to bursting in no time.
After checking the crowd, I entered the church through the back entrance.
Now then, time to give my speech as a god.
We had designed the church to be a place for magical rituals. We had estimated it to be able to hold a thousand people. At the moment, it was full.
Thankfully, the Mythological Foxes had skillfully judged the cutoff point in the lines and then closed the doors.
To each of the citizens inside, high-quality wine—or juice for those that couldn’t drink alcohol—was being distributed. Additionally, the most famous bakeries in the city had also prepared ham sandwiches with generous amounts of high-grade ham for the citizens.
Understandably, the citizens were overjoyed when they were offered such delicious things for no cost. None that they knew of, at least. In truth, the cost was their ability to think properly.
The citizens had begun giving in to their euphoric state. It seemed like the [God’s Smile] mixed in the wine and juice was having great effect.
When certain closed curtains were opened, the intelligence corps including Ruru appeared in the stage built within the church.
After seeing such beautiful girls on the stage, the citizens became excited.
Ruru smiled at the crowd. It wasn’t just an ordinary smile though; it was already part of her performance.
A soothing melody then began to flow. Thanks to the audio equipment, it reached everywhere in the hall and was very clear.
The melody was so beyond captivating, no other sound was made.
After a while, Ruru began singing the lyrics to her hymn.
As planned, the magic power laced into her song engraved the thoughts of loving peace and equality into the citizens’ hearts. Praises for god Procell were added in as well.
I would say about 90% of those that attended today did not share the values of the hymn and were most likely believers of the Rigdolg Faith. The only reason they came was to ruin this worshipping event.
However, thanks to Aura’s [God’s Smile] and Ruru’s hymn, they were converted into true believers instead.
The hymn was then over.
Hearing the hymn while in a state of trance made everyone have a befuddled look on their face. In other words, they were enjoying pleasure beyond measure.
When Ruru took a bow, everyone clapped. Soon after, Ruru and the Ocean Singers exited the stage.
That worked well, better than expected even. Their emotions are flowing into me. I see. So, this is why the [Black] Demon Lord is obsessed with his religion.
Demon Lords were creatures who fed on the emotions within their dungeon.
In the worshipping event just now, I was able to feed on huge amounts of high-quality emotions. This was important since it proved the hassle was worth it, even if we were to do it weekly.
Well then, it’s my turn soon.
As I thought such, I began climbing the stage.
Just by that act alone, the citizens went wild. Another benefit of Ruru’s hymn.
“Welcome, everyone. I am Procell, a god. I thank you all for approving my teachings. From today onwards, let us all cherish peace and equality… as part of the Holy Grail Faith.”
I had decided that my religion was going to be called the Holy Grail Faith. It was named after the Holy Grail that granted any and all wishes.
“The Holy Grail Faith’s doctrine will center around being happy and loving one another—regardless of race. We are all family.”
Overcome with emotions, the citizens roared while tears fell from their eyes. They seemed to be really into it.
“I want others to be happy as well, so I have a request to all of you. We will be holding a worship meeting once a week, and on the next one, I want each of you to bring someone you know. Tell them there will be delicious food and great music. Just getting them to come is enough. Once they’ve listened to our teachings, I’m sure they’ll understand.”
Afterwards, I spoke all god-like and ended the meeting.
The citizens—now zealous believers—looked satisfied as they headed back. That reaction was more than enough. Like this, the number of believers would increase steadily.
Results of the worship meeting were favorable. I was able to easily gain strong and delicious emotions while also making Avalon easier to govern more than ever.
As of the moment, we only had a church here in Avalon, but in the future, I planned on building them in other cities as well. That way and by using the same techniques as we did this time, the Holy Grail Faith would spread even outside of Avalon.
The stronger my religion becomes, the less of an influence other religions—such as the Rigdolg Faith—would have in Avalon.
Later on, an official notification had arrived stating that the royal family would be coming to Avalon three days later.
I planned on selling to them the idea of switching from being a single-religion state to a multi-religion state. I would argue that having only a single religion in their domain would give that religion too much sway in their politics.
Of course, words alone weren’t enough. I had prepared two baits.
One of which needed the [Dragon] Demon Lord’s cooperation, but he had already given his approval.
I wonder what the royal family’s reaction would be like once they’ve known that I founded my own religion and have garnered a lot of zealous believers. I’m looking forward to seeing it. At any rate, let’s prepare for the battle that doesn’t involve armed conflict.
Note: The Holy Grail in Holy Grail Faith has a superscript Kurisu/クリス/Chris, suggesting it should be read like that. If Christ was used, I would have gone along with that or Christianity. As it is, I don’t want to use Chris Faith or Christianity. Besides, I find Holy Grail Faith cooler.